Byrns, William – October 19, 1862

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry

Battles Mentioned:

Historical Figures:

Camp near Sharpsburg Md
October 19th 1862
My darling Florence:
I suppose that if I were to
there would be need for the surgeon
not write regularly at least twice during the week,?
[     ?     ]
The prospect seems fair for our staying some time
in this locality. We hoped that when the advance of
which I [  ?  ] in my last would be the
van of the army, but on Friday night they returned
with the “object of the [          ?          ] accomplished.”
No camp of the Enemy were found. They
went home ten miles from the river +
[   ?   ] with only cavalry + Artillery of the enemy.
I hope that when 1 write again, that we can
say we are again advancing + doing work. We
are not content with the routine of life in
front of the enemy but are anxious to or
moved for my part. I am in no great
hurry but if there is to be work done this
season why not let us “at it” before the
inclement weather will render campaigning a
more difficult. I have all faith in our gene-
rals + shall not attempt opinions of the good or
ill effects of a movement at the present
time. The nights are uncomfortably cool
our men are not supplied with blankets.
I suppose the veteran Regiments have to
give way for new ones just entering the field

Charly Purrous has just recd a picture of his
wife in costume as she saw at a “war meeting”
last season. She must have been an impersonation
of the “Red, White + Blue”. I told Charly I
hardly knew whether the picture was intend
ed to re[   ?   ] Mrs. W. I. Forrest or Maggie
Mitchell our I for sure I had seen the
original when a boy. I had a letter
from one of my old friends in Mich a few days
since. Society has changed greatly in the nearly
two years that I have been absent.
Young men are at a premium she informs me
all of those who need to make up the company are
either in the Army or married + settled quietly
away. Last night, Charly came over. We are en camp-
ed not 1/8 of a mile apart. Staid to “tea” + then we
the der. Col. Abbott included. Had a nice chat.
Seven years since we were young folks in Burr Oak +
since then have hardly lost light of each other.
I am afraid we used to act a good deal wild.
if Charlys tales be all true, we must have been
careless youngsters. Alas! Alas! We will never
again be again the sad dogs of seven years ago, indeed
I do not wish to. An all that excitement then
was not [   ?   ] happiness + I would not tonight ex-
change my present position-perched high on the
Adjutants stool-for the comparab[        ?        ] one of
years ago. Charly declares that the life of a married

man is the height of human happiness. I assure
him that tis nothing strange that such should be his
mind. Knowing as I do that he was married at 8, +
took the 10 oclock train for the [  ?  ] of war. In my as-
[     ?     ] to convince him that I could not appreciate the
happiness I quite failed + his reasons were not all
sound. The mos important one was, in case he was
troubled once by a rebel bullet his wife could
not on morning, in style, this was unmeasurerable.
Are we not indeed wretcher?
We do hope for a change that will allow us an
opportunity of running away for a time. I shall
use all landable means to leave. Even to applying
for the position of Recruiting Office which is generally
given to some one of no importance in the field.
I some what expect an addition of another bar to
my shoulder strap, but will not be at all disappointed
if I do not receive it. Our you, is renominated
may be necessary to give a few civilians commissions.
Rumor says that such things have been done, was in this
war. What news from Mr. M.? Always remember
me to C + Mrs. A. I wrote your father when we
were at Washington + last night found the letter
which I supposed I had mailed at the [  ?  ]– in a
pocket of an old fatigue coat. I will write him
again very soon. Now that I count the
time by weeks when I shall be free for a time,
the time drags slowly along. You surely cannot wish

the time brief, more than I—I sometimes think
that tis very wrong for me to be “thinking of
you ever”, but I find by careful study that my
case is not an isolated one + that history makes
notice of similar ones, but truly I am not a bit
contented. I must see you, must tell you all, [  ?  ] have
much I have been cheered when brave hearts have
been faint, but the assurance of your lair- how little I
am worthy of your pure heart, + how kind + good
you have ever been to me. I look forward to the
day when we will be [  ?  ] than ever to each other if
that can ever be. I believe we can never be
one in heart, or mind, in action more than we are now.
But we are not entirely happy the world can only look
look upon us with impertinent curiosity + I would that
were not. Tell me your whole heart as ever. Write me
often, tis more than two days since I last heard from
you. Only one mail in all that time, + that only or
partial one. In our of my letters I must
have sent a “Pars” for there were several on the table +
one was missed the next [    ?    ]. I thought it a piece
of scrap + folded it over you letter. by moonlight You can
use it if it will take you through.
I have not heard from Mother in a long time.
Remember me to yours-Has Parries C. gone to
the wars? I do, spare her not. But three
“stragetic movements” remain for me tonight. To _off my great coat
Kiss your picture Good higher- Tis aggravating to be obijed so to do +
[     ?     ] myself     Your   Will

knowing you to be [     ?     ] slightly with [   ?   ] Mc[   ?   ] + a lover
of literary curiosities I enclose the a letter to Gen Mc I need
only add that the child was safe all the campaign through
the emphatic are [    ?    ]. I know its wicked for me to send this
but I cannot resist.

[On Envelope:]

Miss Florence Clark
Care A. B. Clark